[Home]Shakespeare, William

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In several of his plays Shakespeare alludes to the game; for example in Richard III Act 3 scene 4 "My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holburn..." and in Act 4 scene 2 "High reaching Buckingam, the Marquis Dorset is fled I hear to Richmond...."

In Henry V the French King refers to "You dukes of Orleans..." a passing reference to the French version of the game invented in 1540 and called Mornington Croissant because the game was played usually over breakfast.

The first folio edition of Henry V contains the clearest evidence for the game from Shakespeare's time where it reads,

"Once more unto the Bank, dear friend, once more, / and close Blackwall up with the Bridge of Red. / In Heyes there's nothing so becomes East Ham as Morden, Shearness and good Beckentree, / but when Plasto blows in our ears, and imitate the Acton and the Ongar, / St. Stephen to New Cross summon up St. John's Wood, / disguise fair Leyton with St. Saviour's stage, / for Hanger Lane and City, this confounded Heyes, South Fields with severn dials and Weighbride Station, / now set Blackheath and stretch the Vauxhall wide and teach them Kensington / Gore and you, good Honiton, South Mimms, Crick Lane, King's Land, / Forest Mere for St. Mary's and Kew, East Cheam and Walton on the Naize that hath not Holburn, Leicester Square and Guys, / I see on Strand like Hondsditch, Pinner and Whipps Cross, [Not Clear], Upham and St. Barts / the game's afoot, follow your spirit and be not rankerous, / cry God for Hurlingham, Dingwall and St. Pankerous!!!"

(transliteration uncertain)


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Edited September 30, 2004 5:41 pm by Dunx (diff)